May 26, 2008

Didn’t you know you needed one of these?

Filed under: Millinery material,millinery techniques and cheats — Cristina de Prada @ 11:05 pm

I love wacky vintage millinery tools (and there’s a lot of those).

Nina was using this one today:

Vintage millinery tool 

It’s not a torture device although it looks like one. It’s meant to be used when you block a hat in one piece (instead of separating brim and crown). This way you can remove the crown block (and use it again if you need to) and use this contraption to make sure the headize oval does not lose it’s shape. Cool eh?!

Here are some more pictures:

Wider view of the tool in position Close up of the brand and patent mark

May 24, 2008

Nina’s Hat for Ship and Shore

Filed under: Hat for ship and shore,Millinery material,Other Millinery people — Cristina de Prada @ 4:31 pm

Image with her Hat for Ship and Shore Nina with her hat for ship and shore!

She couldn’t resist making one for herself, but…who can blame her?!

Made using vintage materials, she looks very handsome in it!

And she has lent me vintage material so I can make myself one with them:

Vintage millinery material

May 21, 2008

Millinery Design Patents (1) – Multipurpose hats

Filed under: Millinery design patents,Millinery trivia and events — Cristina de Prada @ 11:22 pm

Detail of hat design patent 136,706I had tried to find hat design patents before (after all, I did a lot of reaserch for my brooches) but at that time I was not able to find any.

But lo and behold I recently came across one patent (as often is the case, while searching for something else), and from there it was easy to pull the thread and find many more.

We cannot underestimate the importance of design patents. They are very useful as inspiration to make new designs and invaluable as a dating tool for collectors.

No more talk… These are some of the patents that caught my eye!

To begin with, some multi purpose hats…

An apron that doubles as bonnet, useful if you are a multi-tasking super-woman/housewife (read the text and laugh… or weep):

 Bonnet and apron, all in one!Text belonging to the Bonnet Apron patent

 A combined hat and bag design patent dating from 1918 and a combined cape and hood design patent dating from 1883…

Combined hat and bag in oneCombined cape and hood design patent

 And finally (but not to be used on a windy day unless you want to fly like Mary Poppins), the umbrella hat (curiously it was filed January 1950 and granted July 1954, when it usually just takes a few months for a patent to be approved):

Design patent for an umbrella hat.

More to come soon!

May 4, 2008

Mimi for the Virtual Kentucky Derby day

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events — Cristina de Prada @ 4:10 pm

Mimi wearing a Fred Bare hat

Jill, sorry for the delay, but you know how wild these mannequin heads are. Here I was, spending the weekend with visiting family while Mimi took a plane and off she went to the Derby. Just arrived today, she has given me a picture for your Virtual Kentucky Derby day posting!

She is wearing a Fred Bare hat that I bought in Paris in the late eighties (one could call it vintage, but then you would also have to call ME vintage… so let’s leave it at that).

Thank you Jill for your wonderful ideas, I love your virtual hat days!

May 1, 2008

Introducing Mimi to you – she’s got a head for hats!

Filed under: Millinery material — Cristina de Prada @ 11:57 am

This is MimiA birthday present from Peter that has arrived in advance. Mimi is my new friend and fellow hat lover (she is not happy unless she has a hat on her head!).

I had dreamed of having a DecoEyes mannequin head but I believe the company is no longer in business because although their website is still out there, they don’t reply to emails. I had my eyes set on Matilda but unfortunately it was not to be, at least not for now.

So I started looking for an alternative and I found my dear Mimi (officially known as Mimi3). A US seller on Ebay that ships overseas had it, and with the exchange rate as it is, it was a good deal. She was well packed for the journey and arrived in about 10 days, which is pretty fast if you ask me.

What do you think of Mimi? I like her big blue eyes and flapper hairstyle, she also has a beautiful long neck, and looks great with a hat on.

She’s made of fiberglass, so she’s very light, and her make up seems to have been spraypainted, although some of the details might have been hand applied.

I had to use scotch tape to keep in place a couple of the hats I have taken pictures of.

Because her headsize is 22″, all of my hats fit her (loosely, which is not a big problem).

Here is Mimi wearing some of my hats:

Mimi with blue hat I made for my mom Mimi with blue hat right view Mimi with blue hat left view Mimi with the white bow hat 

Mimi with white bow hat - front view Mimi with mustard color cloche hat Mimi with black cloche front view Mimi with black cloche side view

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